Taking Aam Adami Party (AAP) to cudgels, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today equated the atrocious act of displaying the picture of Sri Harmandar Sahib on the title cover of its election manifesto along with broom- its party symbol as blasphemy, which has terribly hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community not within the state but across the globe.Addressing the media persons on the sidelines of Sangat Darshan program in Ropar Assembly segment, the Chief Minister asserted that this crime committed by AAP was not merely a crime but a heinous one, which was unpardonable. Mr. Badal said that their psyche to show disrespect to Sikh religion has come to the fore, through this disgraceful act which amounted to sacrilege. Justifying the legal action likely to be taken by SGPC against the guilty for this dastardly act, the Chief Minister said that law of the land would take its own course as the state had already enacted ‘Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016’ that seeks life imprisonment for sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib — by adding section 295 AA in IPC — and enhancement of punishment under section 295 of IPC — injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class — from two to 10 years.The Chief Minister said this inhuman incident on part of AAP spoke volumes of their insensitivity towards the respect for Holy Scriptures like Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagvad Gita and Quran Sharif. Likewise, he said that Congress was also the same stuff which orchestrated a military attack on Sri Darbar Sahib, which was still afresh in the memory of Sikh community.
Asked to comment on senior Congress leader Mr. Sunil Jakhar’s statement serving an ultimatum on him to ensure favorable response from Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on SYL issue. Mr. Badal said that it was unbecoming of a leader like Mr. Jakhar’s stature, who was fully seized of the matter as this case was already pending in the Apex Court and final verdict was expected anytime. He said, “How could Prime Minister intervene in this matter at this point of time when the case was already sub-judice in the Apex Court.” Without mincing any words, the Chief Minister said that Mr. Jakhar was playing to the gallery to score brownie points in wake of electoral politics. He said Mr. Jakhar was well aware that how the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi ordered the then Punjab Chief Minister to dig SYL canal and she personally laid its foundation stone in the presence of senior state Congress leadership including Capt. Amarinder Singh and several other stalwarts of the party. Mr. Badal said that the saga of SYL canal was a betrayal with Punjab and Punjabis, the script of which was only and only written by the Congress party. He advised Mr. Jakhar to play a constructive role over this issue to safeguard the interests of the state for the betterment of its people rather politicking on it. He said everyone knew who played a constructive role to save the river waters and who indulged in destructive role in robbing the state of its legitimate share in river waters.
Replying to another question, the Chief Minister said that the entire original route of Safar-e-Shadat (journey to martyrdom) would be strengthened and refurbished by the PWD department from village Kuma Mashki to Ropar and from Ropar to Fatehgarh Sahib via Morinda in order to pay befitting tributes to the supreme sacrifice of younger Sahibzadas of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and his mother Mata Gujari Ji.It may be recalled that earlier the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of 10.12 KM portion of this road within Ropar district at a cost of 17.52 cr.On the issue of air and water pollution in the vicinity of villages around Ambuja Cement Plant, the Chief Minister announced to constitute a high level committee comprising Chairman Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Director Rural Development & Panchayats, Chief Engineer Ropar Thermal Plant, Chief Engineer Water Supply & Sanitation, Chief Engineer Drainage, Chief Engineer Punjab State Power Corporation Limited and Deputy Commissioner Ropar to address the issue on the priority and suggest permanent solution to this problem. This decision was immediately taken by Mr. Badal in view of several complaints/grievances received by him during his Sangat Darshan.
Highlighting the significance of the Sangat Darshan program, the Chief Minister said that this was a unique program to redress the grievances of people on the spot with intervention of local administration to their entire satisfaction. Mr. Badal said that his opponents had been criticizing this program on several grounds but it was the only sagacious platform to serve the people in the right earnest.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included; MLA Ropar & Education Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, SGPC Member from Sri Anandpur Sahib Mr. Amarjit Singh Chawla, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. S Karunaraju, Deputy Commissioner Ropar Mr. Karnesh Sharma, SSP Ropar Mr. Varinder Singh and Chief Engineer Water supply and Sanitation Mr. Daljeet Singh Cheema.